Is it possible or ideal to have a 100% plastic-free home?
Most of us will have seen videos of the damage caused by plastics and microplastics in our oceans and plastic accounts for around 60% of the waste found in canals and rivers. In our towns and cities, litter is a big problem and there is a huge cost to our environment of tonnes of plastic waste that is not captured by street cleansing and ends up in our countryside and watercourses. Unfortunately, there is no data on how much plastic litter there is in the UK but food & drink packaging make up a very high proportion.
Plastic is everywhere but it is important to focus on where plastic use is damaging and where it can be avoided. It is not a good idea to bin all the plastic items in your kitchen (e.g. bowls, bins, picnic sets, storage containers etc) or bathroom (e.g. storage, soap dishes, bins) and replace them with new sustainable items. It is far better for your carbon footprint to continue to reuse your plastic items for as long as possible and only when they no longer work, purchase new sustainable replacements.
We cannot be zero waste superstars all of the time but with a little organisation we can make a real impact – small changes add up!
When is plastic use damaging?
It is most important to avoid single use plastics. These range from throw away coffee cups and straws to take away food packaging and plastic water bottles. Single use plastics should be avoided at all costs. This means always using your own reusable drinks bottles and opting for packed lunches as often as you can. Another way to cut your single use plastic is to take reusable bags when you go shopping. It is worth investing in organic cotton bags that can be washed (without releasing micro-plastics into our water systems) and reused (without concerns about the build-up of pathogens on reusable plastic bags).
Have a look around each room in your home and see where you might reduce regular plastic use. For instance, in the kitchen:
- Do your vegetables and fruit have unnecessary plastic wrapping?
- What about your tea bags?
- Do you store foods in airtight jars that can be bought loose such as rice, oats and other cereals?
- Have you given up cling film and other plastic wraps?
In the bathroom:
- Check out your shampoo & body wash bottles – are these plastics or have you replaced them with refillable glass instead?
- What about your toothpaste and other dental supplies?
- Is your skincare packaged without plastic?
Cleaning & laundry products can play an important part in reducing plastic use and of course these items are used throughout the home. The refreshed range from Greenscents helps you to reuse and refill again and again!
All bottled products are the same size (500ml) and made from amber glass and the caps are made from aluminium. To keep your bottles looking gorgeous, you can purchase replacement labels as well as pumps and sprays. This means your bottles can be reused almost indefinitely. When you need to refill your bottles, Greenscents offer 5 litre and 20 litre containers of everything at very competitive prices. Anything additional you might need is listed on our accessories page. You can only purchase from here when you are buying products as we have discounted our accessories to make them more affordable.
Return your empties for free!
Once you have finished your refill container, Greenscents offers a courier service so you can return your empties free of charge. We can reuse your 5 or 20 litre containers over 20 times and as we know reuse is so much better than recycling so this is a great scheme for you and the environment. Just add a return when you reorder on the Greenscents shop and we will arrange for a courier to pick up your empties when your order is delivered. Please do not send back damaged containers and do put your empties in a box or tie them together with string before the courier takes them.
What about zero waste?
As an alternative to creating your own refill station at home, look out for your local zero waste shop. These stores are ideal for a sustainable lifestyle and will ensure that you have the freshest local produce. You can also find Greenscents in zero waste stores across the UK so don’t forget your bottles!
And remember ‘zero waste’ and ‘plastic-free living’ are not all or nothing – every step you take on your journey towards sustainability supports the environment. Be proud of your contribution.